15 mai 2024 | International, Sécurité

US Congress passes broad aviation bill on safety and consumer rights

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  • Air Force introduces hypersonic flight research vehicle

    9 octobre 2018 | International, Aérospatial

    Air Force introduces hypersonic flight research vehicle

    By: Kyle Rempfer The Air Force has officially named the hypersonic flight research vehicle it is testing. The vehicle, dubbed X-60A, is being developed by Generation Orbit Launch Services Inc., under contract to the Air Force Research Laboratory's Aerospace Systems Directorate and High Speed Systems Division. X-60A is an air-dropped liquid rocket, purpose-built for hypersonic flight research. This is the first Air Force Small Business Innovative Research program to receive an experimental “X” designation, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base's public affairs office announced in a press release Thursday. The Air Force Research Laboratory hopes the X-60A program will increase the frequency of flight testing while also lowering the cost of developing hypersonic technologies. “The X-60A is like a flying wind tunnel to capture data that complements our current ground test capability,” said Col. Colin Tucker, military deputy, Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for science, technology, and engineering. “We've long needed this type of test vehicle to better understand how materials and other technologies behave while flying at more than 5 times the speed of sound," Tucker added. "It enables faster development of both our current hypersonic weapon rapid prototypes and evolving future systems.” X-60A is envisioned as a way to provide the Air Force, other U.S. Government agencies and private industry with a platform to more rapidly develop technologies. Rather than relying simply on ground test facilities to simulate hypersonic flight, an actual flight research vehicle will provide real conditions for researchers to gauge. The testing will likely help in the Air Force's quest for hypersonic missiles. The service has already issued two contracts to Lockheed Martin to develop hypersonic weapons: the Air-Launched Rapid Response Weapon and the Hypersonic Conventional Strike Weapon program. Full article: https://www.airforcetimes.com/news/2018/10/08/air-force-introduces-hypersonic-flight-research-vehicle

  • NATO's Stoltenberg expects new 2% defence investment pledge at Vilnius summit

    18 mai 2023 | International, Autre défense

    NATO's Stoltenberg expects new 2% defence investment pledge at Vilnius summit

    NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Thursday said he expected members to agree on a new investment pledge to spend 2% of their gross domestic product on defence at the alliance's summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, in July.

  • ROBOpilot makes maiden flight in US Air Force tests

    20 août 2019 | International, Aérospatial

    ROBOpilot makes maiden flight in US Air Force tests

    By David Szondy A new US Air Force kit that can turn a conventional aircraft into a robotic one has completed its maiden flight. Developed by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and DZYNE Technologies Incorporated as part of the Robotic Pilot Unmanned Conversion Program, the ROBOpilot made its first two-hour flight on August 9 at the Dugway Proving Ground in Utah after being installed in a 1968 Cessna 206 small aircraft. With modern autopilots, even small modern aircraft already have surprising ability to fly themselves, but there's a big difference between maintaining a course and actually flying an aircraft the way a human pilot does. From the opposite direction, autonomous drones are becoming increasingly sophisticated, but these tend to be highly specialized and expensive. Funded by AFRL's CRI Small Business Innovative Research project, ROBOpilot is designed to make these two paths meet in the middle by replacing the pilot seat (and pilot) with a kit consisting of all the actuators, electronics, cameras, and power systems needed to fly a conventional aircraft, plus a robotic arm for the manual tasks. In this way, ROBOpliot can operate the yoke, rudder, brakes, throttle, and switches while reading the dashboard gauges and displays like a human pilot. According to the Air Force, the installation is simple, non-invasive and non-permanent, using standard commercial technologies and components. This allows planes to be converted to unmanned operations without the complexity and costs of purpose-built UAVs, and switched back to human control configuration when required. The recent flight comes after a year of building and testing that involved trialing the device concept using a RedBird FMX simulator to demonstrate how well it can fly in a simulated environment before progressing to the real thing. The US Federal Aviation Administration-certified trainer showed that ROBOpilot could carry out autonomous takeoffs, mission navigation, and landings in both normal and abnormal conditions. "Imagine being able to rapidly and affordably convert a general aviation aircraft, like a Cessna or Piper, into an unmanned aerial vehicle, having it fly a mission autonomously, and then returning it back to its original manned configuration," says Dr. Alok Das, Senior Scientist with AFRL's Center for Rapid Innovation. "All of this is achieved without making permanent modifications to the aircraft." https://newatlas.com/us-air-force-robopilot-flight/61105/

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